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Interviews from the 50th Anniversary Tribute to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Will Make You Cry

On March 6th, PBS will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with the special titled “Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like”. The special features interviews from celebrities and actors on the show about what the neighborhood meant to them and how Mister Roger’s message of love and kindness impacted their lives.

The celebration will be hosted by Michael Keaton, who had been a stagehand, production assistant, and one of the Flying Zookeeni Brothers on the show before becoming an actor. Keaton also hosted the memorial tribute program America’s Favorite Neighbor in 2004 following Rogers’ death, and he speaks fondly of Fred Rogers’ sense of humor in one clip. In the preview that PBS released, John Lithgow talks about watching the show with his son and how it taught children to like themselves. To footage of Yo-Yo Ma’s performances on the show, Esperanza Spalding talks about how watching one of the Bach Cello Suite inspired her. “That is why I started playing music,” she says. Nicholas Ma, the son of the famous cellist, talks about how only Mister Rogers could convince him to play with his father, calling it “enormously special”.

The special also includes interviews with David Newell (Mr. McFeely), violinist Itzhak Perlman, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Silverman, and Judd Apatow. “The first thing I remember learning from Mister Rogers is, ‘If I can only be brave enough to talk about it, then it’s going to be ok'”, says Silverman. “What I took from it was the look on Mister Roger’s Face,” says Apatow, “Of pure love. It was the bar for how I would like to behave.” These are, of course, only a small fraction of the incredible legacy Fred Rogers left behind—I still read this fan encounter all the time and never fail to cry.

Starting from February 26th, PBS will be airing a week of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes paired with an episode of the animated spin-off series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Are you going to be watching, neighbor?

(via Indiewire, image: screencap)

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